The best tips to hire a PPC expert
PPC or pay-per-click marketing is a minefield if you don’t know anything about it. It’s filled with jargon like “CTAs”, “CTRs” and “ROARs” which makes the industry confusing and inaccessible for outsiders.
But PPC marketing can be the trick for boosting traffic, engagement and sales all in one go. And it’s one of the most cost-effective marketing techniques out there!
So if you’d like to hire a PPC expert but have no idea how to go about testing your candidates without getting lost in a sea of acronyms, we can help!
What does a PPC expert do?
Simply put, a PPC expert will help you advertise a specific product or service. They’ll normally do this through a paid ad on a search engine or social media site. So first they’ll research the audience you want to attract and the best strategies to attract them.
Once they’ve made the ad live, they’ll keep track of the analytics and make adjustments to ensure it’s excelling. And they’ll give you the lowdown on the numbers in layman’s terms so you can understand what’s going on behind the scenes.
A great PPC expert will have the perfect balance of an analytical and creative mind. They’ll be able to write and design ads while measuring their success and managing a budget. It’s all about strategy and audience.
Why should you hire a PPC expert?
As a small business owner, you might not even have a full-time marketing executive. So you might be thinking, why should I hire a PPC expert? Wouldn’t it be better to hire a general marketing officer who could manage social media as well as other advertising strategies?
Well, maybe. But if you’re looking for a short-term but large boost in traffic to your site, a PPC expert might be the perfect fit for you. They might not be your first hire when building up your marketing team, but their specialised skills will be brilliant for achieving specific goals.
While they won’t help out with wider marketing strategies like email marketing or content creation, their balance of analytics and creativity will help you out a lot in understanding marketing strategies and building your audience and engagement.
Plus, PPC marketing is one of the most cost-effective strategies out there. If you don’t know much about the industry your expert can help you measure and analyse how the strategy is going.
How should you hire a PPC expert?
You have a few different options when hiring a PPC expert. You could go for a consultancy group, freelancer or you could invest in some upskilling and give the responsibilities to someone in-house!
But what you’ll need to know before starting the hiring process is the exact goals you wish to achieve in what time period. This will help you decide what way to go and who you’re looking to hire.
You could also consider asking industry friends for their recommendations. While all PPC experts are great for increasing your audience, if you’re selling a service or product to a software developer it’s even better if your PPC expert knows a bit about software development! Asking around with your industry colleagues might help you to find the best person for your job.
You don’t have to hire someone with tons of experience under their belt – juniors can still be experts at PPC! This will help you keep costs low while still finding an energetic individual who’ll be great for the job.
No matter which route you go down you’ll want to properly interview your candidates to make sure they’re a good fit. But you’ll have to ask some industry-specific questions to make the most of the interview.
The best questions to ask in an interview
These questions are suited to mid-level PPC experts. When hiring juniors it’s best to interview for soft and transferable skills, while relying on a task to judge their technical potential.
1– What steps will you take to launch a PPC campaign?
It’s important to get a gist of what your PPC expert can do before you choose who to hire. You should understand their process and their specialities.
You’ll want your candidate to explain their steps in some detail. Rather than stating that they will ‘perform a keyword search’, your candidate should give you specific examples of tools they will use, such as Moz Keyword Explorer and Google Keyword Planner.
This question will also help to give you an idea of your candidates’ specialities and how well they balance creative and analytical tasks. You’ll get a chance to see what resources your candidate might need to carry out their job and where they feel the most comfortable.
And if they explain the steps of their campaign well, your candidate will show their ability to relay information back to you in a comprehensive manner – this is a key skill for PPC experts!
2- What happens if your results tank?
Knowing what your PPC expert will do in the worst-case scenario is really important. Do they have another strategy ready to go, or proof that the one they propose is an infallible method?
You’ll want to look out for candidates with a clear plan of what to do if the results tank. But what’s more important is the steps they will take leading up to this point. Results won’t usually suddenly tank out of the blue and your candidates should be able to monitor a campaign to see warning signs.
This is such an important element of the role because one bad advert could swallow the entire budget or even run at a cost.
3- What happens if the results are great and we want to invest more?
If your PPC expert has increased traffic and sales, that’s great! But you might want to invest more or lengthen their contract to continue using their services. An important question to ask is what your candidate would do in this situation.
Do they have another trick up their sleeve for growing or maintaining traffic and engagement?
In combination with the above two, this question will help you understand the skill set of your PPC expert. Knowing that they aren’t a one-trick pony is really important.
4 – What can you tell me about the statistics for your last campaign?
It’s all well and good to discuss strategies that could work. But what you really need to ask for when interviewing a PPC expert is proof. Statistics on their previous work and the time it took for the optimisation to happen is key when interviewing for the right person.
Proof of the strength of their strategy will cut through the interview waffle and demonstrate their value.
5 – Your manager is off work for the week but you see your CPC climbing much higher than usual. What do you do?
As you probably won’t have another PPC specialist on your team, it’s important that your hire will react well if any problems do come up. But you’ll need specific questions to gauge this in an interview.
By asking your candidates behavioural questions you’ll get a chance to see how they’ll react to real issues they could face every day.
You’ll know it’s a good answer if your candidate provides a thought-out plan with specific steps and expected results.
Look for detail-oriented solutions and a calm approach. They should discuss how they would change the ad campaign to reduce the cost and give specific examples.
You could also ask: ‘You’re given a 20% budget increase this quarter, what would you spend it on?’ or ‘The business is facing cuts and your budget is slashed in half, what steps would you take?’.
Here they should focus on the most efficient areas of investment and most profitable marketing strategies. But however they answer, look for someone who is basing their solutions in figures while being creative in high-pressure situations.
6- Sample task
At DigitalGrads, we love using a task-first hiring process – so we ask our candidates to perform a simple task related to the job before hiring them. This is a great idea when hiring a PPC expert – especially if you don’t know much about the industry.
You could ask them to allocate a set budget of £500 for the month or come up with a sample PPC advert. This will give your candidates a chance to impress you with their tangible skills and compare your candidates on an equal playing field.
A key thing to look out for in the interview is your candidates’ ability to explain their process. PPC and its terms can be really confusing if you’re not used to this marketing strategy. Your hire should master the skill of explaining their strategy in a way that you can understand – otherwise communication with the team will be tricky!
After choosing your hire, consider the length of your contract carefully. If you’re looking for a short boost for a specific campaign, you could hire someone for the length of this campaign, and extend the contract accordingly. It’s a good idea to set the contract at a shorter length, and avoid 12-month contracts. You can always extend the contract if necessary!
If you’d like help finding your match, you can browse our candidates with PPC specialities.